Act Now to Stop “Fast-Track” and Protect American Jobs

NYHTC — June 05, 2015


On the 30th of June, President Obama signed the Fast Track Authorization Bill into law over the vocal protests of his party and the public. While union workers and progressive democrats did manage to slow down the passage of this bill, embarrasingly beating the White House on several key votes, President Obama will now move forward to TPP negotiations. This fight isn't over, TPP will be coming back to Congress when negotiations are concluded. Watch this space.

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On June 11, 2015, the fate of thousands of good paying jobs remaining in America will be decided when the House of Representatives votes on whether or not to give the President the authority to single-handedly negotiate and approve trade agreements in secret, through a devious and dangerous process called “fast-track."

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the authority and responsibility to make laws regulating trade with other countries. However, in recent years, Congress has willingly surrendered this duty by approving similar so-called “fast-track” provisions which hand the President virtually dictatorial powers on foreign trade. This is how NAFTA and more than a dozen other so-called “free trade” agreements with other countries were passed. Why would Senators and Representatives in Congress vote to give up one of their most important Constitutional powers? Because so many of them are cowards who owe their jobs to rich campaign contributors. The last thing they want to do is debate and decide on the specific provisions of trade agreements which they know will harm their constituents. So, instead, they have been happy to vote to allow the President to make these deals behind closed doors, so they can each personally deny responsibility for the loss of so many jobs. In short, “fast-track” is nothing more than a scam – an act of unconscionable irresponsibility by sleazy politicians to avoid accountability. 

Fortunately, this time, more Americans have wised up to the fast-track scam. A broad coalition of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, are loudly protesting this latest plan to give the President fast-track power to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another proposed “free-trade” deal guaranteed to erase many thousands more American jobs. For years, Presidents, Senators, and Congresspersons from both parties have been making false promises that these trade agreements would result in the creation of good jobs in the United States, but the opposite reality has become clear to all with the passage of time. These deals have devastated the American working middle class. When historians look back on this period, they will describe with amazement how the world’s most powerful nation voluntarily crated up and shipped overseas the source of it’s power and prosperity – its factories – for no other reason than to enable a tiny few to become fabulously rich by exploiting cheap labor in other countries.

This time, there is a real chance that our chickenhearted Congress may bow to pressure from the people and refuse to pass fast-track. HTC calls on all its members to contact their Congressional Representatives and demand that they vote against this scam known as fast-track. The AFL-CIO has set up this easy to use link to contact your member of Congress: